Casino Watch Focus reported that Florida House Democrats said they would kill any new casino deal with the Seminoles if it didn’t include certain types of gambling games. Now, the Democrats have gone a step farther and officially made clear they want to be involved in the actual writing of the agreement. The Tampa Bay Times explains:
The caucus on Tuesday formally announced what had been informally previously accepted — that Democrats have taken a “Caucus Position” to withhold their support for ratification of gaming compact between the governor and the Seminole Tribe of Florida until Democrats are included in negotiations.
The postion was “developed at a routine Tuesday meeting of the House Democratic Caucus,” the Democrats announced in a statement. It was approved unanimously by voice vote.
“We have been expressing our concerns all session long,” said Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, in a statement. “It should come as no surprise to the governor that we expect a seat at the negotiating table.”
Various reports have claimed that Gov. Scott is close to a deal, and Gov. Scott tested the waters on calling for a special gambling session, but found little support:
Legislative leaders in both the House and Senate have all but rebuffed the governor’s offer to hold a special session in May after his deputies hinted that he was “getting close” to an agreement with the Seminole Tribe over the gaming compact that expires next year.
“It’s toast,’’ said one high-ranking Republican Monday, who noted that the governor’s failure to offer details led many of them to conclude that he gave the tribe what they wanted. “Why do we need to do it in the last week?,’’ Waldman asked. “The compact doesn’t expire until next year.”
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